Sunday, 31 May 2009

Time Marches On

The big guys of Time, a loser of a weekly magazine...came out toward the end of last week and said that they were studying the prospect of charging folks to view their magazine on the internet. They are losing money on a monthly basis and the ad rates for Time are fairly dismal. The chief even said that it wasn't right that folks could log on and freely read articles that they were charging money for the magazine.

I read over this and pondered it a while. Frankly, I'm of the mind that newspapers ought to band together....maybe in groups of ten...magazines could do the same...and charge $5.99 for a year's privilege to read their articles online. It's a fair price...and maybe it helps a group of newspapers or magazines survive.

There are two negatives to this scheme. First, you just might find out that no one really cares and no one will read the magazine digitally...and no one will quote their comments. If this happened, your morale would disappear rather quickly.

Second, if you came to decide that $12 or $15 was more appropriate for the cost of reading online....then you might price yourself beyond reality and find no one interested anyway.

For myself? I wouldn't pay a review Time online. I think in five years of blogging...I've actually quoted them once. My guess is that they will end up charging folks $10 per year, then discover less than 2,500 folks signed up. Eventually, they will rig up some deal where if you get three Jiffy Lube oil changes in one get a free year of Time on-line. That'll end up being the only way to get or give away these stupid opportunities with Time.